Frank Ocean Goes Off on the Grammys, Responds to Criticism of His Performance at the 2013 Ceremony: 'I'm Young, Black, Gifted and Independent'

Frank Ocean took to Tumblr to address comments made by The Grammys’ creatives— producer Ken Ehrlich and writer David Wild—in an interview on Rolling Stone Music Now.

Both Ken and David responded to Frank declining to submit his 2016 releases (Blonde and Endless) for Grammy nominations.

On the podcast, Ken and David said they believe Frank’s issue with the Grammys stems from his 2013 performance of “Forrest Gump,” which wasn’t really that great. Apparently Frank pitched his initial performance idea and it got shut down.

“What [Ehrlich]’s taught all of us who work with him is, ‘We’re not putting on a radio show. We’re not making a mixtape. We’re broadcasting on CBS to tens of millions of people, to the whole world, and you have to make it a TV moment and a musical moment that works on television.’ And [Ehrlich] knew from the start that that was not one of those moments.”

“We executed his vision knowing that it was faulty. And we tried to tell him that, we tried to tell his management that, we tried to tell the record label that. So, his feelings about the Grammys right now, I would imagine, probably go back to that in one way. But honestly, it wasn’t us.”

In Frank’s Tumblr response, he addressed their remarks directly.

Ok Ken (and David). As much as I hate to make you guys famous or even respond to you directly. We all die one day and you’re old so fuck it. Yea yea my 2013 performance at the Grammys was absolute shit. Technical difficulties, blah blah. Thanks for the reminder. Very much appreciated. Fuck that performance though. You think that’s why I kept my work out of the Grammy process this year? Don’t you think I would’ve wanted to play the show to ‘redeem’ myself if I felt that way? In reality, I actually wanted to participate in honoring Prince on the show but then I figured my best tribute to that man’s legacy would be to continue to be myself out here and to be successful. Winning a TV award doesn’t christen me successful. It took me some time to learn that. I bought all my masters back last year in the prime of my career, that’s successful. Blonde sold a million plus without a label, that’s successful. I am young, black, gifted and independent.. that’s my tribute.

He also stated that Kendrick Lamar should have won Album of the Year over Taylor Swift.

I’ve actually been tuning into CBS around this time of year for a while to see who gets the top honor and you know what’s really not ‘great TV’ guys? 1989 getting album of the year over To Pimp A Butterfly. Hands down one of the most ‘faulty’ TV moments I’ve seen.

Frank ended his note by giving the Grammy organizers some advice.

Believe the people. Believe the ones who’d rather watch select performances from your program on YouTube the day after because your show puts them to sleep. Use the old gramophone to actually listen bro, I’m one of the best alive. And if you’re up for a discussion about the cultural bias and general nerve damage the show you produce suffers from then I’m all for it. Have a good night.

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